Zuccotto is a typical dessert from Florence. The shape of the cake is said to resemble the dome of Florence's famous church, il Duomo.
12" round sponge cake layer
1/4 cup Brandy
1/4 cup Amaretto or Frangelico
120 gr. almonds
120 gr. hazelnuts
180 gr. dark chocolate
600 ml whipping cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
Toast almonds and hazelnuts under broiler for 5 minutes. Allow to cool before roughly chopping.
Cut cake is slices 1/2" thick on the diagonal, in triangular shapes. Combine liqueurs and brush one side of each section of cake with mixture. place sections of cake, unbrushed side against sides of tin, against the inside of a 10-cup capacity round-based bowl which as been lined with a layer of plastic wrap (leaving 5" overhang all around), with the narrowest end of cake on the bottom. Alternate crust and not-crust sides of cake to give striped effect. Fill the gaps with pieces of moistened cake. Trim edges of cake so they are level with the top of the bowl.
Chop 60 gr. of dark chocolate and melt remaining chocolate in microwave, at 20 second intervals until completely melted. Whip together cream and icing sugar until stiff then fold in nuts. Divide mixture in half. Fold chopped chocolate in one half and melted chocolate in other half.
Spoon white cream mixture evenly over entire cake surface, leaving a cavity in the center of the bowl. Fill in cavity with chocolate mixture. Moisten remaining cake with liqueur and arrange on top to cover surface completely.
Wrap bottom with overhanging plastic wrap and chill overnight. Invert over serving plate and dust top with combined sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder.